Wednesday 25 November 2015


And get your own Steam in the Willows books, cards, journals and more!

After nearly two years of solid work, the physical copies of Steam in the Willows are available for purchase!

There are three editions available:

  • Black and White Paperback
  • Standard Colour Paperback
  • Premium Colour Hardback
All editions are print-on-demand and available through Amazon, or truly excellent retailers, or through me!

Steam in the Willows: B&W Paperback

A classic format, reeking of tradition and pre-digital technology. For those of you wishing to truly embrace the anachronistic elements of this story, this is the edition for you! 
Also, cheaper than the others! 
6 x 9 inches, 218 pages, contains around 70 black and white illustrations. 

Price: US$19.95 + $4.95 Postage
Ships Worldwide

Steam in the Willows: Standard Colour Paperback

Not quite as flash as the Premium Colour edition, but certainly a solid and quality book. For those of you who like your illustrations in colour, but still want something compact enough to slip into a bag or tuck under an arm. 
6 x 9 inches, 218 pages, contains around 70 colour illustrations on 70gsm paper.

Price: US$24.95 + $4.95 Postage
Ships Worldwide

Steam in the Willows: Premium Colour Hardback

The steam-powered Rolls Royce of all editions! Beautiful quality hardback with parchment-coloured pages, intricate borders and high quality colour printing. This is the heirloom edition, and would comfortably sit on a mantlepiece beside your carriage clock and miniature gramophone. 
8 x 10.88 inches, 188 pages, contains around 70 premium full colour illustrations.

Price: US $49.99 + $4.95 postage
Ships Worldwide

Also find my art...

Including illustrations featured in Steam in the Willows, at Redbubble:

All the physical stuff: DONE.

For all of my Kickstarter contributors who may have not heard already - everything physical has been shipped.
You read that right, folks! Both paperback black and white and hardback colour editions are on their way to you! RIGHT NOW! OH MY GLOB!

Both editions together.
Both editions together.
I'm so excited to hear how people enjoy the books once they receive them!
Non-Kickstarter editions will also be available really soon, for anyone thinking that they might make a nice festive present for someone else (hint hint) and the E-Book edition should be following shortly, too!
So many exclamation points!!!

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Cards and Journals have arrived!

While there is still some back and forth going on between my designer and Lightning Source, I'm delighted to say that all the cards and Journals have arrived!

As the books will be posted separately anyway, many of these are already winging their way towards contributors.


The cards are 100% recycled stock and have printed up beautifully. They are A6 format and will be packaged with envelopes. The interiors are all blank, so you can fill them with whatever whimsy makes you and the recipient most happy!

The notebooks/journals ended up even fancier than I first planned. They are A5 size with a 300gsm matt finish soft cover and 64 internal pages. Small inked illustrations from the book adorn every few pages.

I'll be setting up an Etsy store very soon, should you want to buy any further notebooks or cards.

Sunday 2 August 2015

Final Flurry of Original Art

With one last burst of furious creativity, the final rewards are finished! 
These will all appear in the limited edition Kickstarter release of the book.

"Mole Makes an Acquaintance". Original Painting for Brett Dietsch.

"Deep Discourse" - Detail.  Original Painting for Don Bone.

"Mole by the Riverbank". Original Drawing for Jennifer Creagh.

"A Most Remarkable Picnic Basket" - Detail. Original Painting for Jennifer Creagh

"Toad's Shredding Solo". Original Painting for Kalindi Brennan

"The Latest Tunes". Original Drawing for Merrin Woods.

"Always Tinkering". Original Drawing for Sean Hutton.

Saturday 18 July 2015

More Rewards!

I've been busily working on the rewards for the last couple of weeks, and I'm now very excited to be able to show you more.

First off, my backer Marin requested a picture of Mr. Toad, either doing something amusing or otherwise enjoying himself. I hope I managed to fulfil both criteria!

For Ben, a drawing of Mr. Badger pursuing one of his hobbies:

For my Dad, a sly and cunning weasel:
 And for Hayley, Mr. Badger and one of his creations:

Wednesday 1 July 2015

Painted Rewards

The first two hand-painted originals are complete! These will appear in the kickstarter edition of the book as well.

Ratty and Mole, searching for Otter's son. Painted for backer Megan.

Otter, relaxing. Painted for backer Oliver.

Wednesday 17 June 2015

All principal work DONE!

It seems like a few people were confused over my last update, believing that all my illustration work was done. Actually, I'd finished all the drawing and painting, but there was still all the digital compositing and editing and cutting out that needed to be done on many illustrations, which took the last couple of months.
But now, today, as of just this minute, ALL of the illustrations for the colour book are done. 
I'm currently uploading them to my editor, and I expect she'll have the layout back to me within a week. Which means we'll be only a few steps away from getting a proof from Lightning Source, and then THE BOOK!
Current mood:


Wednesday 1 April 2015

The last illustration!

It is with a great amount of relief and joy and relief and pleasure (and relief, did I mention relief?) that I can finally announce I've finished all the drawing and hand-painting work on all the illustrations. There's still a fair amount of editing to be completed, so it's not quite so huge an announcement as saying everything is done, but the end is certainly very much in sight now.
Today I also wanted to share with you a bit of an overview of how much work is involved in each illustration. For this book I've been working in a hybrid traditional and digital way, doing both pencils and watercolours by hand and then compiling them digitally. Although I'm very comfortable working exclusively traditionally, I find this hybrid style produces an end result that is cleaner and crisper for printing, but still retains the charm and texture of traditional work.


Everything starts with a sketch. Then another. And another. Then I decide none of them are right, make a cup of tea, and do several more. Eventually, a sketch emerges that I'm happy with.



I use thin paper (not quite tracing, but semi-transparent) and draw my final pencils on new paper. This is something I do whenever I have multiple characters or a lot of action. If the initial sketch is simple enough, I will usually do the final drawing directly over it.



Using a photocopy and transfer paper, I transfer the pencils onto watercolour paper, then paint in with watercolours. I then scan both the pencils and colours in.




I make the pencil layer transparent and touch up the watercolour layer so it fits to the lines. I add shading and another digitally inked layer. If the illustration has no background, this will also mean cutting out everything around the colour and pencil layers, and re-pencilling the outlines on the whole drawing. I'm feeling slightly tired just thinking about how many drawings I've done this to.


Drinking Tea

Extremely important: tea break.



Colour balancing, more inking, checking against previous drawings for consistency, possibly a dash more tea, tweaks and formatting. 

The guard stoats on the bridge throw a rock into Ratty's boat and sink Toad (Chapter 12). 
The guard stoats on the bridge throw a rock into Ratty's boat and sink Toad (Chapter 12).
All in all, the whole process for each image takes 12+ hours. I had honestly thought when I first started that the smaller vignettes would be quicker and easier, but as I continued to draw I realised they needed just as much attention and detail as the larger spreads. As the work progressed, I also returned to many of the earlier images to touch them up, add more detail or, in some cases, redo them completely. 

A side-by-side comparison of work I've had to heavily edit and improve 
A side-by-side comparison of work I've had to heavily edit and improve
I know this has taken a lot longer than I predicted, and I am grateful for everyone's patience. We're on the home stretch now!